Savings and credit cooperatives (Saccos) in the country have been challenged to borrow a leaf from other countries if they are to grow and benefit their members.
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Principal Secretary Ken Ndala made the call in Mangochi on Friday during the official opening of the 2019 Lakeshore Sacco Conference.
He said: “As government, we will support the cooperative department, as well as the Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives [Muscco] to remove any barriers that are impinging on the growth of the cooperative sector in Malawi especially Saccos.
“It is a fact that financial cooperatives in general promote financial inclusion, saving culture and employment creation.
“For this reason government will work tirelessly to create a conducive environment for Sacco growth, support automation and promote cooperation in the cooperative movement countrywide.”
Muscco board president Francis Mlanga said most rural areas do not have vibrant Sacco movements; hence, the need to provide them with help as up to 80 percent of the population is in rural communities.
The conference, held under the theme Consolidating Saccos Strengths and Synergies; Our Competitive Advantage for Growth, was a reflection of how the movement realises its challenges and the need to grow to make a positive impact on the economy. The Sacco movement has for the past year increased its membership from 123 550 to 141 188, representing a 14.3 percent growth rate.